January Literature Connections


Date: Any day in January

This month is special because: It is National Hobby Month.

Books That Relate To This month:


Bulla, C. (1979). "Daniel's Duck." Ill. by Joan Sandin. New York: Harper Collins. (wood carving)

Carlson, N. (1984). "Bunnies and Their Hobbies." Minneapolis: Carolrhoda. (many hobbies)

Carlson, N. (1993). "Take Time to Relax!" New York: Puffin.

Coyle, R. (1988). "My First Baking Book" Ill. by Tedd Arnold. New York: Workman. (cooking)

Ernst, L.C. (1991). "Miss Penny and Mr. Grubbs." New York: Bradbury. (gardening and raising rabbits)

Kimmel, E.A. (1992). "Anasi Goes Fishing." Ill. by Janet Stevens. New York: Holiday House.

Long, E. (1984). "Gone Fishing." Ill. by Richard Brown. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (fishing)

Owen, C. (1993). "My Nature Craft Book." Boston: Little, Brown. (crafts)

Ripley, C. (1988). "Kitchen Fun." Boston: Little, Brown. (cooking and crafts)

Temko, F. (1993). "Origami Magic." New York: Scholastic.

Williams, K.L. (1990). "Galimoto." Ill. by Katherine Stock. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. (African -- making toys)


"I'm Thankful" in: Prelutsky, J. (1984). "The New Kid on the Block." Ill. by James Stevenson. (pages 28-29)

"I Am Sitting Here and Fishing" in: Prelutsky, J. (1990). "Something BIG Has Been Here." Ill. by James Stevenson. New York: Greenwillow. (pages 112-113)

"My Hobby" in: Silverstein, S. (1974). "Where the Sidewalk Ends." New York: Harper & Row. (page 129)


1. Brainstorm a list of possible hobbies.

2. Invite students to share their hobbies with the class. Students might want to present it in a report.

3. Invite other students, teachers, the principal, the secretary, etc., to come to talk about their hobbies.

4. Interview other students, teachers, and parents about their hobbies. Organize the information into a graph. Talk about the most unusual hobbies and the most common hobbies.

5. Start a class collection of stamps, buttons, rocks, or some other area of interest.

6. Match the following hobbies to the corresponding words in a pocket chart activity:


Coin Collecting

Stamp Collecting



Ballet Dancing






1920 penny

Olympic stamps



Ballet Slippers

Bowling Ball




Date: January 23

This date is special because: It is National Handwriting Day.

Books That Relate To This Date:


Arnosky, J. (1983). "Mouse Writing." San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Cobb, V. (1989). "Writing It Down." Ill. by Marylin Hafner. New York: Harper Collins.

Fisher, L.E. (1985). "Symbol Art." New York: Four Winds.

Goldstein, P. (1993). "Long is a Dragon: Chinese Writing for Children." New York: Scholastic.

Heide, F.P. and Gilliland, J.H. (1990). "The Day of Ahmed's Secret." Ill. by Ted Levin. New York: Lothrop.

Lee, H.V. (1994) "At the Beach." New York: Holt. (Mandarin Chinese)

Mitgutsch, A., Reidel, M., Fuschshuber, A., and Hogner, F. (1985). "From Graphite to Pencil." Minneapolis: Carolrhoda.

Morris, N. (1984). "The Lettering Book." New York: Scholastic.

Pulver, R. (1991). "Holiday Handwriting School." Ill. by G. Brian Karas. New York: Four Winds.

Roehrig, C. (1990). "Fun with Hieroglyphs." New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Burch, J.J. (1991). "Fine Print: A Story about Johann Gutenberg. Ill. by Kent Alan Aldrich. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda.

Cleary, B. (1990). "Muggy Maggie." New York: Morrow.

Ransom, C.F. (1991). "Ladies and Jellybeans." New York: Bradbury.


"Beginning on Paper" by Ruth Krauss in: de Regniers, B.S., and others. (1988). "Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child's Book of Poems." Ill. by Marcia Brown, Leo and Diane Dillon, Richard Egielski, Trina Schart Hyman, Arnold Lobel, Maurice Sendak, Marc Simont, and Margot Zemach. New York: Scholastic. (page 95)

"Pencils" and "Homework" in: Esbensen, B. (1992). "Who Shrank My Grandmother's House? Poems of Discovery." Ill. by Eric Beddows. New York: Harper Collins. (pages 9, 36)

"A New Pencil" in: Merriam, E. (1986). "Fresh Paint." Ill. by Eve Merriam. New York: Macmillan.

"My Snake" in: Prelutsky, J. (1990). "Something BIG Has Been Here." Ill. by James Stevenson. New York: Greenwillow. (pages 116-117)


1. Encourage students to learn how letters are made in other languages using "Symbol Art" (Fisher, 1985)

2. Using the book "Long is a Dragon" (Goldstein, 1993), invite students to practice writing the words for the characters in Chinese. Then make pocket chart cards out of the words and match the character in Chinese with the English word or numeral.

3. Invite students to copy their favorite poems in their best handwriting.

4. Encourage students to ask their parents or primary caregivers to copy their favorite quote in their best handwriting. Discuss: What do you notice about the handwriting? How many print? How many write in cursive? Make a graph of the results.

5. Using "The Lettering Book" (Morris, 1984), invite students to try different styles of lettering.

6. Invite students to survey their family and friends. Here are some questions they might ask:

What is your favorite writing tool? (pen, pencil, crayon, marker, other)

What is your favorite type of paper? (lined paper, notebook paper, yellow paper, other)

Where do you feel most comfortable writing?

What is your favorite thing to write about?


Back to top